The business will produce sustainably grown Nigerian Grade 1 and 2 rice in convenient packaged sizes and sold under professionally marketed brands. Fine bran (a by-product of milled rice) will be sold initially to animal feed manufacturers. The utilisation of other by-products will be introduced into the system in the 6th year.
Wems Agro Companies Limited, having conducted a techno-feasibility report, duly secured land, developed a well-founded business plan, commenced environmental impact assessment, completed a health impact assessment and conducted soil fertility test was in 2018 invited by the Federal Government of Nigeria to participate in the Economic Recovery & Growth Plan Focus Labs.
WEMS, during the 6 weeks Focus Labs demonstrated significant contribution to country’s GDP as well as the employment opportunity it will create in its region; was then rated a 3 Star Project amongst 59 other projects the FGN considered a priority through the Ministry of Budget & National Planning.
In spite of the oil, agriculture remains the base of the Nigerian economy, providing the main source of livelihood for most Nigerians. The sector faces many challenges, notably an outdated land tenure system that constrains access to land (1.8 ha/farming household), a very low level of irrigation development (less than 1 percent of cropped land under irrigation), limited adoption of research findings and technologies, high cost of farm inputs, poor access to credit, inefficient fertilizer procurement and distribution, inadequate storage facilities and poor access to markets have all combined to keep agricultural productivity low (average of 1.2 metric tons of cereals/ha) with high postharvest losses and waste.
Even though agriculture still remains the largest sector of the Nigerian economy and employs two-thirds of the entire labour force, the production hurdles have significantly stifled the performance of the sector. Over the past 20 years, value-added per capita in agriculture has risen by less than 1 percent annually. It is estimated that Nigeria has lost USD 10 billion in annual export opportunity from groundnut, palm oil, rice, cocoa and cotton alone due to continuous decline in the production of those commodities. Food (crop) production increases have not kept pace with population growth, resulting in rising food imports and declining levels of national food self-sufficiency (FMARD, 2008). The main factors undermining production include reliance on rainfed agriculture, smallholder land holding, and low productivity due to poor planting material, low fertilizer application, and a weak agricultural extension system amongst others.
Nigeria is the continent’s leading consumer of rice, one of the largest producers of rice in Africa and simultaneously one of the largest rice importers in the world. As well as an important food security crop, it is an essential cash crop for it is mainly small-scale producers who commonly sell 80 per cent of total production and consume only 20 per cent. Rice generates more income for Nigerian farmers than any other cash crop in the country. In 2008, Nigeria produced approximately 2 million MT of milled rice and imported roughly 3 million metric tons, including the estimated 800,000 metric tons that is suspected to enter the country illegally on an annual basis.
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15A, Prince Kazeem Eletu Street, Osapa, Lagos, Nigeria
+234 (0) 703 3654 770